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This was my 1st Dead show, just before I left college in Boston to return to NJ - my 2nd was Englishtown. My roommate and I had seats behind the stage. We realized right away the sound was awful back there and moved to sitting in aisle steps straight ahead of the stage - big improvement but not close to the quality here. We were struck by the echo on the voices, but they sound great on this recording. I remember we really felt Jerry was totally 'on', we were hanging on every note of every solo. We loved listening to the 'new' tunes and were blown away by 'Eyes' and 'Wharf Rat'. Without the benefit of future concerts, it really seemed like Jerry was having an out of body experience and we were lucky to hear it.
Subject: Goodbye May 77 shows
Thanks again to Dead.net, all these May 1977 shows will be taken down soon. Enjoy it while you can without paying 100's of dollars when they get released.
Actually, I've got the secret to downloading all these soundboards, i've got hundreds of Charlie Miller shows on CD. The trick is having Windows Media Player #11. You also need RealPlayer to make it work, but the key is windows media player VOLUME 11! If you want more info: email@example.com I'm reluctant to say any more than that.
Subject: Charlie UDAh Man
live & inside 4 this one. This show was long and a whole lottah FUN. Swear I caught a glimps of The Gallery God's Dancing ..Goose Bumps reliving this one. Charlie found the Sweet Spot tonight forrshurr.
It's not impossible to give any shows from Spring anything less than a 5, but very improbable, and that applies here, too. 5/7/77 will undoubtedly invite comparisons to Cornell, but on its own this one is very solid, and deserves its own day in the sun. It is just loud enough, rich, that confident-tuxedo majesty of '77 in full and total swing.
Set 1 - Peggy-O takes the high honors here - has it ever been played more lovely? They *almost* struggle through a couple of the numbers, but check out the Half-Step > Big River fireworks - oh man, I really wish they had kept that initial beat the devils found early on in the BR transition!
Set 2 - Terrapin is really just a warm-up for Samson, which really does blow the doors off. After an absolutely beautiful FOTD the set is fairly standard stuff for '77, which means *awesome!* Nothing that will cause you to have to change your dancing-bear undies, but hot damn, who cares? It's May '77!
The US Blues encore, despite the obvious drop-off in quality, is worth sitting through, as the energy still permeates.
Charlie Miller has given us a major-league remaster of a classic show here; you'll notice this one tops out at 3:08 something, with the extra time for tunings. I guess you can let yourself get into the rhythm of the real show that way, yo.
grateful greensky -
Subject: we got to get ourselves back to the Garden
Grate show fantastic playin' by the boys and it just gets better on the next to nights,oh all involved must have had a HIGH Time living the good life. thanx Mr.Charlie
Subject: Hard to give less than 5 stars
BUT this is not as good comparatively to the next couple of nights or the whole month (I'm a 5/25 nut myself).To be fair, this should receive 4 1/2.
A very graceful Eyes and a standout Wharf Rat make this special.
Subject: guitar issues
I really love the whole Travis Bean period, and within it there was quite a progression in the sound: '76 with that super-distinctive light, glassy tone from June to September, and then a transition into the harder-edged '77 tone. But in any event, I'll take the Travis Bean and the '72 Strat/Fender Twin combo, along with the first Wolf/Wall of Sound, over pretty much anything from the Tiger and Rosebud eras. For me, the gradual change in the sound of the whole band in the late 70s turned it into something that I don't care for (especially that thin, whiny Bob Weir tone) but that's obviously personal taste. As for tuning, the Travis Bean wasn't much worse than the Strat or SG, but it is true that tuning problems went way down after that...
Tiger Wolf -
Subject: Travis Bean issues
This source sounds fantastic - I can't even begin to express my gratitude to Charlie Miller for this and all of the other great stuff he has done.
I know '77 is widely regarded as one of the peak years, if not the peak year, in the Dead's career. I've never really gone for '77 shows myself - I tend to prefer the early to mid-70's and the early Brent period (especially fall '79 through spring '81). But recently I've trained my attention on May and June '77 in an effort to gain more of an appreciation. I've given pretty good listens to this show, Cornell, Buffalo, the Fox Theater and Lakeland Dick's Picks, and the Winterland box set. (Planning to check out the big fall shows soon too.)
But so far none of it's really doing that much for me. My primary grievance is with Jerry's Travis Bean. I'm not real fond of its tone - sharp, metallic, slightly abrasive. The guitar was made partly of aluminum, and it sounds like it. To my ears, it really lacks the dynamics and warmth of, say, Tiger and Rosebud. Even worse, I'm hearing it go out of tune frequently. Listen to the end of Bertha, the beginning of Cassidy and Garcia's first solo in Half-Step by way of example in this show. (Terrapin in the Fox Theater show also comes to mind.)
Anybody else hearing that?
Anyway, despite my grievances I still need to give this show five stars given its pedigree and the sound quality here.
Sorry my review goes way beyond the show itself.
Subject: Six stars?
I agree! Both sets are great. Nice build up to the following night's 2nd set!
Jeff Knorek from Nova Scotia -
Subject: Laugh Riot
An advantage of audiance recordings is that you can tell when the PA drops out for a moment...especially indoors. Thia SBD, here during Bertha, doesn't reflect that the PA dropped for a bit exccpt for the reaction of the singers themselves, which is out of context if you are listening to a recording of the hall.
This is a killer show, I say that a lot lately.
They should have a sixth star for the "Well Duh" 5 star shows. This show would qualify.
Let's give it a 5 star, then.
Subject: Holy Trinity is right!
That's a great way to describe 5/7-8-9...I like to think of these shows as the peak of the Dead's live performance history. In terms of their live sound, it seems like they were climbing a mountain starting in 1965 and they reached the peak in May 1977, and then started a slow decent that went slowly down in the mid 80's and ended in 1991. There were a few sharp inclines here and there during the decent, but they never got close to the altitude of the peak of Spring '77. I love Dead shows from all era's, but if I had to pick just one year to own, it would always be '77. In that year, the band was like a super orchestra, playing incredibly tight jams and really feeling off each other. Each member was playing the best music of their lives, and I think they knew it! They were still using LSD during their shows and Garcia's Persian addiction was fresh and aiding his play. At first opiate addiction heightens all your senses and gives you great energy, it doesn't start to break your body and mind down until after the first year or so, and I think Garcia's playing was turned up a few notches because of it. This show might be slightly over shadowed by Cornell, but just listen to the second set and you will be dancin'! Terrapin Station, Eyes, The Wheel, so many great others. Definitely my favorite Eyes of the World, I am not a big fan of the 20 minute Eyes (they don't keep my attention to well). Not enough variation in the jamming sometimes, but this one is HOT with really dynamic solos and trippy chord changes at the end. A killer Drums leads into an especially free-flowing Wheel. I think Jerry's Travis Bean TB1500 is my favorite guitar. The aluminum neck adds so much sustain to his solos. The Wheel makes you feel so good! This whole show is inspired! The sound quality is superb. I love Betty-Boards.
Subject: Wharf Rat!
There are many opinions of this run. Grate sound captured for all to enjoy! This show has my most listened/possible fave Wharf Rat Jerry's Guitar soars to wonderful places. Yup Grate Tion - Grate Times!
wuz at 77-78 and more -
Subject: hitchhiked from bingo/dropped cid
My buddy and I were given two tix in the dorm by Robbie the DH and we had no ride. We were frosh at SUNY Bing. We made a "Boston or bust" sign and stuck out our thumbs. Two six foot plus stoner-looking guys hitching a ride in middle amerika. A couple with a young girl stopped nad gave us a ride all the way there. We got grinders, took the trolley in and dropped on the way. I was wearing overalls. The fuzz confiscated all my hits other at the door. First time I heard Terrapin. For months I thought I must have made the whole thing up. What a bizarre tune. Slept in a frat house, got up early and stuck out our thumbs again to go to CORNELL. Crazy weather; cars flying off the road from the ice. We barely made it. What an amazing show [Barton Hall 5-8-77]! It snowed on May 8th as we were coming out! I thought all dead shows were like these! Who knew that these were among the best shows they ever played. Also went to Colgate at the last minute. Supposed to be studying for finals the next week--not dosing and going to dead shows the first week of May. Mike L'Ecuyer was the inspiration for this intrepid Terrapin trip.
thank you Betty for this beautiful mix and recording. thank you charlie for the great transfer. this is one of those shows that sounds like it gets better every time you hear it. Everyone is ON. You can tell they're all feelin it. I love in the beginning of Bertha when the mic feeds back you can hear them all kinda laugh at the same time instead of get pissed. Theres also a few parts in eyes of the world when jerry is singing an you can tell he is just feelin it more than ever. This miller remaster has the best sound out of them all (no surprise). The bass and drums sound really good. especially the drums on new minglewood and music never stopped. you can really get the feel for the two drummers goin at it. The ONLY downside to this show is all the dead air tunings in between songs. Would be cool to see another Miller version pop up with the tunings and stuff cut out or tracked seperatly. Most cd burning programs let you edit track times anyways an thats pretty much what I did. Either way this show is just as good as Barton Hall in my opinion. This whole show is bursting with energy especially Mississippi half step, Music never stopped and Eyes of the world. theres also some funny banter after new minglewood blues.
Subject: 1977 year of greatness
I agree with most reviewers as this year all shows are impeccable as the entire band seems to play as one and know from each others inner karma as the music never stopped I enjoyed many shows starting in 1974 howver I missed almost all of the 70's serving in the armed forces. Enjoyed over 100 dead and jgb shows from 83-88 and to me these were great years also, though mainly because I witnessed them live with many many friends, how I wish I could have been to every 77 show as this is my favorite year. I so enjoy putting on the headphones and laying back eyes closed and a big smile remembering "the days", if Jeff Haley from Rockville md ever reads this please email me, Steve James in Florida at james.steve11@YAAHOO.com Hope you and the gang are all loving life. Thanks to the archives and folks like Charlie Miller for keeping the memories and keeping the 'band beyond description" froom never going away, Jerry is playing with Jehovah's favorite choir I am sure, long live the dead.
Have to say has to be the BEST 1/2 step EVER
Subject: best recording of this show
In my humble opinion, this is the best sounding version of this show. Charlie Miller with another show of top notch quality. I love the slight hint of echo.
PS...nice review geraldusa
Subject: An Incredible Night in Boston
Updated once more:
Sorry Cliff, but disagree in a big way. If this show wasn't of 5 star quality then 1977 was a bust. Sure, the next two night were great but so was Boston. I'm just not sure what you are listening to but it can't be the same thing I'm hearing.
Updated in Sept-10
I dialed up The Music Never Stopped once again tonight and have to say it is the best fast-paced guitar I've have ever heard from the J-man. It tells a story about his ability and just how precise he could be. Fabulous is all I can say.
This was written many moons ago:
I can listen over and over again and honestly can't say which of these incredible nights was best. Cornell, Richmond, Buffalo......I don't care because what we have here is a series of some of the finest music ever played in front of a live audience.....and we get to hear the often subtle differences that defined the band on each of these evenings. It was nothing short of magical.
If you read the reviews some say Peggy-O, FOTD or Wheel were all time (or thereabouts) bests. Personally, I am crazy about the guitar work on Half-Step and find this version of The Music Never Stop (along with Buffalo) to be tops. Jerry was so hot burning up his guitar that night and his voice near perfection in the Spring of '77. I'd never say this night or that night was the best because so much of it is based on what you're feeling when listening at any particular moment. I will say with conviction that Boston was one the very best of all time, to my ears. It's my opinion which is no better or worse than anyone else. I just keep coming back to it over and over again.
Cliff Hucker -
Subject: Not the Gold Standard
This is an excellent performance and certainly among the top-fifteen shows of 1977. That said, it's just not quite as fine as either of the two extraordinary performances that immediately follow. In fact it falls considerably short of both the Barton and Buffalo shows. (97 pts)
Subject: how i remember these days
yet its so faint, because it was another life of mine...
Miller for the win..... he does it again folks.
I revisited this last night on the 33rd anniversary of this wonderful show. The beginning of an incredible 3 night run. This Miller remaster is perfect. Tonight it's Barton hall time.
my favorite Wheel! ever
My favorite Peggy-o
FOTD in the 2nd set is great, and then add in Keith's beautiful kb work and it is just exactly perfect. This here is the rendition that will get you sold on the slowed down format of the song.
Tidewater four ten O nine -
Subject: Devil Stars
Agreed (well, if not this one, any of the FOTDs from 77). Some bright spark (that'd be rtws then?) will probably suggest that I "get a life" but I managed to 'secure' all the FOTDs from 1977 (13 in all, including 2-3 audience versions) and split them across two CDs (I had to 'lose' one if my memory serves me correct). For 2-3 weeks I listened to nothing else. Sure, the verses and the plodding choruses (compared to the 'Beauty' version) got to be a bit tedious but I became oblivious to this after a while. Instead I just wallowed in the beauty of the mid-song instrumental breaks - more often than not Keith (the answer is in the name - Keith = God), Bobby and then, soaring over the top like a beautiful eagle, Jerry in all his glory. I tend to favour the 71/72/73 era, but these mini Dark Stars (I call the instrumental breaks 'Devil Stars') just can't be beat. Barton Hall - no Dark Star, no FOTD, no Pigpen, need I go on - how can it be the best ever show?
Gotta go - might just get some sleep tonight.
)€-\) H€-\) -
Subject: Another great one
I have enjoyed this show over Barton Hall more, yet I do listen to that show often. All Played well and worth having in a library or a bookmark to this page on your browser. It doesn't get any better in my opinion. I see many concur, so I must not be crazy. Hope everyone enjoys this as much as I do.
Subject: Wicked Good Show
Clearly a 5 star effort, although I would rate this third in the "holy trinity" of Boston, Cornell (1), and Buffalo (2). Top 3 songs for me were Half-Step, Music and Eyes.
Subject: Overshadowed by the next night's notoriety...
but this show is the goods! Cornell gets all the glory cuz it was so well-circulated back in the day, but this night comes extremely close, maybe even equaling it. The sound on this Charlie Miller version is outstanding, allowing me to appreciate the intricacies of this show even more. Of course the Eyes>Wheel>Wharf Rat never ceases to amaze, with the band almost showing off just how freaking awesome they were at this point in their career. The first set is also played beautifully, with what may be the greatest 1/2 Step of the year, along with 9/3.
5/7/77 is definitely a top 5-er for the year. The Bertha version is great as well, but to me this version's sound is warmer and more well-balanced. But you can't go wrong with either one.
Thank god for the Archive. If only this were around 12 years ago, I wouldn't have had to deal with 9th generation hissy cassettes! But I guess that was part of the fun, the eternal quest to find that holy grail. This is one of 'em.
Read the review of this show in Dead base and the Wheel> jam> Wharf Rat is super. The Wharf Rat is epic and maybe one of the best. I love how they actually improvise bewteen songs.
Subject: Charlie Miller is Da Man
With this latest upgrade from Charlie, I think I have to revisit the comparison between 5/7-8-9.
First set is chock-full of what can be argued Jerry Bests. It also comes with a cleaned up A&A, and the sometimes missing US Blues.
My own favorite (to date) is 6/9/77. I can only hope a crisper source of that can someday become available.
Jay Ashley (Mr Bertha, or is that Mr DAW), you Da Man also.
Thanks again to all who make these great shows available!
Ballison Drake -
Subject: The Music Never Stopped
Worth a listen for this tune alone. Thanks.